The Wino From Outer Space... story start
by Scott Ridgway
Who believes a guy like me? No one. I ask for change for food and they think I need booze. Everyone is suspicious of a bum looking dude who smells. I don't do much to get them over thier fears of course, since I no longer care what people think of me. I need to drink, sleep, eat when I get to puking too much to drink.
Writing any of this down even seems stupid, There isn't anything else I can do, though. I got the paper for free, old computer paper stained on the corner with what looks like coffee that I pulled out of a dumpster in lower wacker, the under-road that runs beneath the streets of downtown chicago and harbors those of us who are too far out there to live any place but the streets, jails and hospitals.
My breathing grows worse everyday, the dt's or the lack of breath will take me soon, some cold night as I croach over a heater duct, tucked in a dark corner of lower wacker where the cops will probably notice me a few days after the rats.
Try looking and smelling and living like a wino and being the only person on earth who has spoken to an alein... at least at length. I know secrets people all over the world would kill for, and I'm not even sure that I want to use them. They could save me, and others, I suppose, but I don't know why... the drink takes all my time, trying to keep the emotions running wild inside of me dull and at ease is about all I have time for -- well, that and getting together the change for a buzz and bite to eat every few days.
I wish I could say thta my life wasn't always a drunken mess, that some crises drove me down into this circle of hell . . . but no, I just liked to party more than I liked to work, and somehow muddled along that way, eating at soup kitchens and doing just about whatever it took to find the time to drink around the clock. Long after everyone I knew had checking accounts and apartments and women and kids, I was still the hard core guy who would whip out the weed and snort at parties, call the hookers...
I never noticed I was on a slippery slope until I was mired in the muck at the bottom, holes in my shows and the tread long wore off, leaving me old and ugly and smelly and pathetic enough to pull the heart strings required to obtain a few pennies from the crowds passing trhough downton chicago...
I lied in the title. I am not a wino from outer space. I did however meet a creature from far out in the distant stars, too far away for our microscopes and time limitations. He was dying. Something about the air that he explained to me once while we were drinking and I think I was thinking of something else or just spacing on the music... I didn't listen to him half the time... he was one of those guys who talks so much that sometimes you have to take a break and think about other things. No one would believe him either. He had come here in the form of an Elder, basing his research on outdated tv shows and sit that they could recieve out on the scientific research center -- an artificial satallite, where his crew had been monitoring human activity. There was a mechanical problem, his crew died, and there he was, waiting out his last few years ina flop house. He used to pay me to go out and get dr. pepper and thunderbird, which he lived on. He really did, too, which was the first indication to me that he was different, of course.
He didn't tell me his history until I discovered it on my own, after he had some kind of fever and babbled on for a week just before he died. He became normal somehow for the last day, after taking some pills he had, and that was when he decided that though I was hardly his choice, he was going to hope against hope that I could do something...
He had tried to contact the authorities a year before and ended up spending three weeks in a psych ward, where he was beaten and subjected to the drugs which set off the disease that was killing him -- or so he claimed, and he did sound like a doctor.
During that last day, he was liked hyped by the fever and mellowed by the vodka, and actually seemed a little relieved to be getting out of a mission he said he hated from the bginning. He seemed to become someone else, like a youthful rebel came bursting out of him, some idealistic kid swinging a protest poster or something. He said he had a device that could make anyone disappear, and that his team had planned on selectively culling the field; the device also gives something like immortality, as well... The plan, from what I could gather of it, was simply to shift the leadership of the planet to a more ecofreindly, less materialist culture.
You can guess the rest, but there wouldn't be much of a story here if I left you too... oh, whatever... it is hard to write drunk, so forgive me, alright? Not to mention I am sitting under a viaduct and the wind, as always, is trying to snatch all of my words and blow them out into the unheard nothingness.
I have been working on my disappation for so many years that I am afraid to suddenly reverse the polarity of my entire existence. I hate a lot of people and fear I would kill myself if I became like them. I live for the hope there of and the drunk, which sounds pathetic to anyone who has never begged up a couple hours worth of change in exchange for a few more hours afloat in warm, mother water oblivion.
I am going to start by telling his story, and then mine, and give a few hints of where I am taking this train next....
The device Frankolinny gave